6. The "What The Hell" Effect

So. I hadn't written every day.

Missed the last seven days. (And I'd only written five so far.) But here I am again.

What happens when life happens?

I could say that life happened, because it did.

And I will tell myself for you, "That's no excuse!" because it's not.

But it's the truth, and it happened. 

So where do we go from here? 

Many people who use drugs are told to stay abstinent. Once they use again, they're back to 0. The "What The Hell" Effect, formally known as the Abstinence Violation Effect, is what happens when said person uses again anyway, feels shitty about relapsing, and goes, you know what, what the hell. Might as well go all out.

Or: when rigid rule-sticking is demanded, and any deviation from the rule is a failure, and that one deviation becomes well, I messed up already, what's the point, screw everything.


Option 1. What the hell, never mind this whole project.

Option 2. Forgive myself, and keep going.


[1] Curry, S., Marlatt, G. A., & Gordon, J. R. (1987). Abstinence violation effect: Validation of an attributional construct with smoking cessation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 55, 145–149.

[2] Denning, P., Little, J., & Glickman, A. (2004). Over the influence: the harm reduction guide for managing drugs and alcohol. New York: Guilford Press.